To promote the inaugural edition of World Series Hockey (WSH), the sport property has roped in Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty as brand ambassador. Shetty will be a part of the marketing campaign which will involve television, print, digital and various on-ground activations.
Sorbojeet Chatterjee, vice-president, marketing, Neo Sports Broadcast, says, "Traditionally, hockey as a sport hasn't seen much promotion in this country. WSH has changed that with an aggressive marketing campaign across multiple touch points. There exists a need gap for a strong second sport in India and hockey, with its pan-national following, is the only sport that fits the bill. Sunil Shetty is a passionate sports enthusiast and has endorsed the Indian hockey team earlier, along with active participation across sports. He is indeed an ideal choice. Besides, the action hero is a natural fit for our 'Hai Dum?' campaign."
In the past, Shetty, in collaboration with Dhanraj Pillay and R R Patil, promoted hockey in Maharashtra's Chandrapur district. Interestingly, Shetty is also the mentor for the Bengaluru franchisee, Karnataka Lions.
"World Series Hockey is an idea whose time has come. Hockey is an important sport that has brought glory to India on numerous occasions at the Olympics, and the time has come for us to recognise and support the sport through a world class league featuring all the global champions," remarks Shetty.
The inaugural edition of WSH, which is a joint endeavour between the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus Sport, comprises of eight teams - Karnataka Lions, Delhi Wizards, Chennai Cheetahs, Pune Strykers, Mumbai Marines, Chandigarh Comets, Bhopal Badshahs and Sher-e-Punjab.
The teams are owned by corporates like Wizcraft, Zentrum Group, Jubilee Granites, SRF Group, Sai Grace Sports and Events and Chennai Sports Organisers. Overall, 59 matches will be played in the tournament. Nimbus Sports' channel Neo Sports owns the telecast rights for the tournament.